Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grilled Cheese with Fontina, Pear, and Walnut Spread and Mixed Greens


I should probably just go ahead and call this "the lunch I ate the other day."  With the key word there being "I."  This was all mine.  Almost everything else we eat is for sharing, it's communal, it is for togetherness.  It is all so lovely and nurturing and familial.  I mean, we are super huge fans of dipping for this communal aspect!  But sometimes you just need something to call your own.  Like a room.  But instead of a room, I had some lunch.  A good something, though fleeting.  

Max was asleep, blissfully (or so I assume) asleep in his bed.  Alternatively, he could have been scampering around his bedroom pulling out books to "read" and toy cars to play with and diapers to drape over his arms.  Either way, nary a peep was heard from him.  Seth was the opposite of "blissful," putting in yet another round of weekend hours on a project at work.  

So I made this - and for 15 wonderful moments I savored each and every bite.  I stood at the kitchen counter with food in one hand and flipped through a magazine with the other.  Multitasking at its finest.  All while standing on one leg (It has come to my attention that I am often found standing in a weird birdlike position - on one leg with the other bent out, and I know this because I have caught Max copying me and realized what I was doing).  I somehow even managed to get all the dishes cleaned up before Max awoke.  It was as though it never happened.  But I at least know it did.

Ingredients
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 peeled pear
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch kosher salt

Fontina cheese, sliced
slices of pear (to cover the cheese)
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
dollop of honey
2 cups mixed greens

Instructions
To make the sandwich: Start by making the chunky walnut spread.  Throw the walnuts, pear, olive oil, and salt in a food processor.  Pulse for 30 seconds to a minute, until a chunky spread forms.  Save any unused portion for later.  Spread on a slice of bread.  Add pear slices and fontina cheese to taste.  Top with the other slice of bread.

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Once one side has turned golden-brown, flip to brown the other side.

To make the salad:  Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and honey together.  Toss the mixed greens with the salad dressing to taste.  Add toasted walnuts, if desired.


31 comments:

  1. This might be the best grilled cheese I've come across! Definitely need to give this a try :)

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  2. What a gorgeous and super gourmet looking grilled cheese! Sounds like the perfect treat for a busy mama like yourself :)

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  3. We would look silly together. I also stand on one leg, but the other one is bent so that it's foot is resting on the supporting leg's knee...like a sad, drunken yoga pose.

    Love this sandwich! Grilled cheese anything is wonderful, when the cheese is Fontina...heaven.

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  4. I love adding sliced peaches or apples on my grilled cheese too - this is such a timely post getting ready for the pear season.

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  5. what a beautiful sandwich, and a little hint of fall flavors. So glad you were able to stop and savor the moment :)

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  6. I love grilled cheese sandwihces and this really takes it to a new level~~ yumm~~

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  7. This is easily the most amazing recipe I've seen for grilled cheese!

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  8. This looks amazing! You've made me so hungry I'll have to get home and get the sandwich toaster out!

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  9. Pears and cheese all toasted and warm? What a lunch :D!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  10. What a fantastic lunch! That sandwich sounds like a winner. I'd be asking for seconds, I am sure!!

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  11. O geez... its these kind of recipes that make me seriously miss cheese! I might just have to sacrifice one of these nights.... the fontina with the pear and walnut spread sounds incredible! And the mixed green salad is such a perfect pairing, yum!

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  12. Fontina cheese is one of my favourite. Grilled with pear and walnut spread... Yum! This combination is simply divine.

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  13. OH! So we can use fontina cheese for grilled cheese? I'm always curious about fontina cheese but never picked it up because I wasn't sure of the taste and what goes well with it. Definitely try this grilled cheese as my daughter love it and we eat like twice a week. I'll eat with fontina cheese then! Thanks for the recipe!

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  14. your sandwich with fontina and pears look divine!
    I guess you deserved your OWN meal!!! (women are always multitasking!!!)

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  15. Damn, that is one fine lunch! I love the way fontina melts, it's my fave!

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  16. What a lunch! I love walnuts - your idea of a spread is fabulous.

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  17. Oh, my gosh...this looks spectacular, Jenn! I wish I had some leftover tomato soup...that would make the perfect dinner on this brisk, autumn-like day!

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  18. Wow! I am drooling here! This sandwich looks amazing and sounds heavenly!

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  19. Mmmmm! Pears and fontina sound perfect together! What a brilliant sounding grilled cheese sandwich. I know what i want for dinner now!

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  20. What a memorable grilled cheese! Very fancy and super delish!

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  21. What a great grilled cheese, I love the fontina and pear combo!

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  22. So cute! Max sounds like my darling nephew. My sister-in-law figures at least he's taking a break, even if he's not napping. I love this grilled cheese idea. I would never have thought to add fruit to a grilled cheese. I wonder if cheddar and apple would be good too.

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  23. The sandwich sounds wonderful with fontina and pear slices.

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  24. That walnut spread sounds divine...this is the perfect fall lunch!

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  25. This is so amazing. I'm not a huge sandwich gal but this is really incredible and inventive.

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  26. What a lovely grilled cheese! If I prepared anything cheesy, and it would be all MINE too.

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  27. Oh yummy! Lol we must have been on the same wavelength - I just made a pear/cheese panini type sandwich as well :) I love your version with the honey an dijon

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  28. I can't believe I missed out on this yummilicious toast. The description is enough to make me want a whole slice. Wish I was your neighbour, cause I know I would come with a thick face, standing right in front of your door with an empty plate. LOL.. okay, in return I bring desserts? You name it, I'll bake it.

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